Title: Before Sunset.
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy & Kim Krizan.
Genre: Romantic Drama.
Seen on: DVD.
Seen Before: Never.
Starring: Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy.
Running Time: 76 minutes.
Favorite Performance: Ethan Hawke as Jesse.
Favorite Line: “Memories are wonderful things, if you don’t have to deal with the past.”
Favorite Moment: At the very beginning, when Jessie first sees Celine, she smiles at him, and he falters for a second, as the weight of seeing the woman he loves but never expected to see again shocks him to the core.
Thoughts: This film had a lot to measure up to after a brilliant first film. The sequel came together due to the wishes of Linklater, Hawke and Delpy, each desiring to revisit the characters. It is with great pleasure that I can say the sequel definitely holds up to the original. It is different, but very much in the spirit of the original.
In this one, the film is shorter, the takes are longer, some numbering 11 minutes in total, with the entire film presented in real time, with the actors needing to learn large pages of dialogue and monologues to succeed. They nail it. Some of the scenes are magnificent, with a car journey involving both becoming emotionally open and vulnerable, detailing how shit their lives have gotten since they left one another, a brilliant scene.
Some of the best moments were little character moments. When Jesse first sees Celina again, and is talking to her, his body language screams how much he wants to hug her, but dialogue wise he is afraid, constantly checking her expression to see he hasn’t said the wrong thing, his fleeting looks of pain when he lies that he didn’t go to meet her, were just brilliant, magnificent portrayal.
But it wasn’t one sided. In the aforementioned taxi scene, there is one small bit, when Jesse is describing how much he hates his life, and when looking away, Celina reaches for him, wanting to touch him, hold him, but she can’t, she’s too afraid. This film looks at what happens when you bump into the one who got away. They have both developed and changed from their previous personas but they are broken due to it, and it is fascinating to watch, these two people who loved each other from afar now confronted with these lost loves, and there is some legitimate magic created on screen between the two. Jessie’s dream, Celina’s waltz, all beautiful moments.
This is a sequel that expands on the original in a way that makes it feel fresh. It is rewarding and emotional, but so worth it, with two performances that rival the previous film easily, a more developed, slightly more bitter version, and I loved it all, I loved this film. The only problem, which is more of a compliment, is that I wish it had been ten minutes longer, but it is still fucking awesome.
Thumbs Up, 9 out of 10.